Rehab Expansion and Linked in Pink Campaign Highlight PMC Board Meeting

Despite the failed bond issue at Prowers Medical Center this past May, a need for additional space for some medical departments still exist.  Lori Denman, Rehab Manager, representing members of a site planning committee, presented a series of options to the board of directors for creating 2,000 square feet of space in the Lamar Medical Clinic for the Physical Rehabilitation Department.  Several options were discussed during the Wednesday, September 26, meeting.  As in most cases, when you make a move in one direction, some other moves of available space are going to be impacted.  Some options discussed included moving the administration staff to a new location outside the current hospital building, shifting the main entrance to the west which could impact the gift shop revenue, shifting the location of the healing garden or creating additional maintenance work space on the rear perimeter of the main facility.  The site committee suggested that the Specialty Clinic not be moved.  The recommendations came with some staff concerns on how office reorganization could impact health care service, and the board of directors will review the options for discussion for the October meeting. 

Space will be found for a new vacuum pump at the hospital.  The current model, which is used for surgical procedures and specialty needs, is 40 years old and repairs are a matter of concern as out-of-date parts are scarce.  The hospital has had a replacement pump on the premises for the better part of a year, but no space is available to install the newer, larger model.   The unit must be housed from the elements and properly maintained.  Cost estimates for some additional storage space run between $30,000 and $90,000 depending on whether a facility is bought or built.  The board recommended an architect to be brought in to develop some options. 

Nick Durst, Doctor of Physical Therapy, outlined a new rehabilitation procedure that will soon be available to patients at Prowers Medical Center.  Called “dry needle therapy”, Durst explained that sore or damaged muscle tissue can be treated with a procedure similar to, but not the same as acupuncture.  He cited an elderly patient who received improved mobility with the therapy, after have endured a chronic situation for 15 years.  Durst said the therapy uses extremely small needles to help repair muscle tissue damage and improve blood flow.  He added it has been proscribed by various pro sports teams.  Additional information on the procedure will be made available in the near future.  

The hospital had another monthly financial downturn for August, as reported by CFO, Audrey Kane.  August had a net loss of $139,485 with the net operating loss of $154,796.  August 2011, by comparison, had a net income of $229,696.  Net Patient Revenues for August were $2,033,966 which fell below budget by $247,476.  Expenses for the month were $2,201,636 and had been budgeted at $2,138,139.  Hospital cash on hand days continued to decrease to the current 74, which is a six day drop from the previous month.  Board member Ronny Farmer pointed out that there was an increase in private pay, up to 17%, which should have helped revenues.  QHR representative Mike Mullins suggested that part of that amount could be charity care which won’t register as income.  Farmer suggested that the private pay revenue be broken down into sub categories, for a more detailed explanation. 

Michael Bryant, PMC Foundation Director told the board, the members have begun their 2013 budget discussions now that the by-laws have been finalized for the Foundation.  Bryant said members attended a grant workshop that will work with the 501c3 status the Foundation received earlier this summer.  He said other sources of revenue include participation in a free, online gift website called  Bryant explained that for every $5 purchased from the website, the Foundation can realize $1 in revenue. 

October will be a busy month for the hospital, which will observe its 3rd annual ‘Linked in Pink” Women’s Wellness Campaign.  Chief Operating Office, Karen Bryant discussed that an additional campaign sponsor has been included this year with Southeast Behavioral Health Group adding their expertise to Prowers Medical Center, High Plains Community Health Center and Prowers County Public Health and Environment.  A series of Well Woman Clinics have been planned, mostly for Wednesdays and Thursdays through October and will offer information on a series of topics by medical providers from the group.  She said a media campaign will detail dates, times and locations for the clinics.

By Russ Baldwin


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